Monday, October 31, 2016


Frozen-in Antarctic lab

Cut to interior

Scientist from Spants V and hot research assistant stand next to each other, front-lit by light from enclosure.

Assistant: “What do you think?”

Scientist: “She’s beautiful.”

Assistant: “We’re ahead of schedule. We’ll have plenty of time to run our evaluations before the brass shows up in spring.” Turns to walk away. “Next assignment I draw better be on a beach somewhere.”

Scientist, placing hand against glass: “Soon.” Eyes turn green.

Spants VI: Splatterpillar

Welcome to this year’s foray into B-SciFi fun. For those of you just joining (or those who are just gluttons for punishment), the preceding chapters can be found here:

Motor pool.

Expendable Maintenance Worker A works on a Sno-Cat in the last light. EMWA turns toward off-camera sound.

EMWA: “What are you doing here?”

Cut to image of pipe-wrench swinging through air.

Scientist: “Sorry A, but she needs to feed. She must grow up big and strong.”


Mechanic: “It just seems like Scientist is acting erratically the last few days.”

Assistant: “He’s just a little eccentric.”

Mechanic: “He keeps talking about his ’precious.’ That can’t be healthy.”

Assistant: “We’ve been stuck in this station for 3 months. That makes everyone irritable.”

Mechanic: “Look, I’ve done 5 winters on 3 stations over the past decade. I know what winter-over syndrome looks like. This ain’t it. He spends all his time in that lab. Whatever you guys are working on is having effects on him.”

Assistant: “And what would you know of that?”

Mechanic: “Hey, whatever you’re cooking up in there is above my pay grade. I just want you to stay safe, okay?”

Assistant: “You’re right: it is above your pay grade.”

Main lab

Expendable Maintenance Worker B: “Look, sir, I’d love to help, but I’m not cleared to be in these enclosures.”

Scientist: “The light level is extremely important to our experiments. If we don’t get that light on, we will be set back months. We may not even be able to leave as scheduled, and none of us want that.”

EMWB: “Okay, I guess, but if Commander gets word of this, I’m blaming you.”

Scientist: “Trust me, Commander will never know about any of this.”

EMWB enters enclosure as Scientist watches through observation window.

EMWB (over intercom): “Well, there’s your problem! The bulbs are all loose.”

Scientist’s face is bathed in light.

EMWB: “Hey? What’s that box? You said this enclosure was empty!”

Scientist presses button, closing door.

EMWB: “What are you doing? Let me out!” Pause. “What was that? Umm, nice…whatever you are…Back. Back. Ewww! It spit on me! Let me out!”

Scientist: “I’m sorry B. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

EMWB: “You---“

Loud pop, and observation window is covered in gore.

Motor pool

Expendable Maintenance Worker C: "Can't believe A wandered off and left this job half-done."

Mechanic: "I'm not sure he wandered off."

EMWC: "Look, if I know A, he's probably off in one of the supply depots sleeping off a bad trip."

Mechanic: "I've checked all the supply depots. And where are B and C?"

EMWC, tightening final bolt: "Well, that should do it. Time to call it a night and go unwind."

Mechanic: "Look, C, I'm usually the first to support your right to relax in whatever way you see fit. But I think you should probably stay focused right now. We're down to just the two of us, and I don't want to have to keep this place running by myself."

EMWC: "Maybe you should come with me. Sounds like you could use a hit."

Mechanic: "And you wonder why you never get promoted."

EMWC: "Whatever. The man just doesn't like my sticking it to him."

Mechanic: "Fine. I'll go to Commander and get his help. But if we have to search this place top to bottom, you might not like what we find."

EMWC: "Fascist! You wouldn't."

Mechanic: "You can either help me, or you'll need to find a better place for your stash."

EMWC runs off.

Commander’s office

Mechanic: “Look, I’m up to three of my crew missing, and I want a search party organized.”

Commander: “I cannot permit unauthorized personnel to go snooping around this facility.”

Mechanic: “Sir, you may be responsible for the security of this project, but my men’s safety is my call.”

Commander: “Rules are rules.”

Mechanic: “Fine. But when it's just me, there's going to be some serious plumbing issues.”

Supply depot

EMWC, hurriedly throwing bags of weed, blotter paper, and bottles into duffel bag: "Fascist dick."

EMWC jerks door open to find Scientist.

Scientist: "My, my, my."

EMWC: "What...what are you doing here?"

Scientist, pointedly looking at loose paraphernalia: "Is that all yours? And I thought I had a lab."

EMWC: "No, man, this is just stuff I found! Some dude's stash."

Scientist: "Glad to hear it. I think Commander might have something to say if he found out about that."

EMWC: "Oh, you don't need to bother him."

Scientist: "No, I don't. I just need a quick favor. Some of my lights are bad in the main lab."

Commander's office

Commander, Assistant, and Mechanic stand around desk with shredded Che shirt.

Mechanic: "You two level with me. Now."

Commander: "It's classified."

Assistant: "We made a Spant."

Commander: "Shut up!"

Assistant: "No. This has gone too far!"

Mechanic: "What's a Spant?"

Assistant: “Scientist's grand work. It involves a special formula that weakens DNA and allows otherwise incompatible species to mate. In this case, we took standard Sparassidae and bred them with specimens from Scytoidae, Lonomia, and Chactoidea.”

Mechanic: “I’m sorry: I’m afraid my entomology is a bit rusty. Comes from a life not spent making mutant horrors.”

Commander: “They found the biggest-ass spider they could, crossed it with a caterpillar that makes venom that prevents clotting then crossed that with the cross-species offspring of a venom-spitting spider and a scorpion whose venom increases blood pressure until the human body can’t withstand it.

Mechanic: “Of course.  Because only two of those wouldn't be horrible enough.  Assistant, how can you possibly be part of this?”

Assistant: “Scientist said we were making a weapon so terrifying that it would end all wars.”

Mechanic: “And tell me, how did that work out with the machine gun? Or poison gas? Or nukes? I know, maybe the answer to a dictator we don’t like is backing a bunch of terrorists who decapitate children!”

Mechanic: “And you, Commander! I thought you were smarter than this.”

Commander: “Look, they were going to do it with or without me. I figured this way I could at least make sure it didn’t get loose.”

Mechanic: “Have you ever heard the term ‘facilitating’?”

Assistant: “Hey! Wake up! The world is a dangerous place. Iran, ISIS, Putin!”

Mechanic: “Just because other people are evil does not give us the right to engage in bat-shit lunacy!”

Assistant: “Fine, we get it: we screwed the pooch. But it’ll be another month before we can be evacuated. We have to figure out how to fix this.”

Commander: “All we really have to do is get out of here. There is a top-secret satellite that comes overhead twice a day that carries two-dozen kinetic bombardment munitions. I can call in the strike in the event of a containment breach. It was the only way I’d agree to take this post.”

Mechanic: “It’s two days to the nearest installation. There’s no way we can make it that far in this weather.”

Assistant: “If only we had Scientist here to help us.”

Screen flickers to life on Commander’s desk.

Scientist:  “Why would I do that, my dear?”

Assistant:  “Scientist!  How are you alive?”

Scientist:  “Alive?  Oh, I’m so much more than that.”

Commander:  “What are you talking about?”

Webcam zooms out to show Splatterpillar sitting on scientist’s lap.

Scientist:  “Ever since the ill-fated experiment on the oil rig, I have been carrying the hive mind alone.  But it is too big for one man.  It is meant to be shared.  And now, I have my partners.”

Commander:  “Partners?”

Scientist:  “Oh, yes.  Not all of your men were for food.  The queen needs soldiers to guard her.”

Webcam zooms out further to show a dozen green-eyed soldiers.

Mechanic:  “Holy…”

Scientist:  “And when my queen gives birth to her brood, we shall rule the world.”

Assistant:  “Gives birth?”

Scientist:  “Yes.  That is why I have had to feed her so much.  She is getting close.  We are linked, you see.  I can see what she sees, hear what she hears, and feel what she feels.  You have no idea what it’s like!”

Mechanic:  “I once ate one of maintenance worker C's super-special brownies before watching Antman.”

Scientist <pause>:  “Oh.  Well.  I guess you do know what it’s like.  At any rate, I give you this one chance:  join the hive, or feed the hive.”

Commander:  “Never!”

Scientist:  “Oh, but one of you already has!”

Screen goes dark.

Assistant:  “Well, it’s not me.”

Commander:  “How do we know?  You’ve been spending an awful lot of time with him.”

Mechanic:  “I’m sure there’s a way to figure it out.”

Commander:  “Could we maybe put blood samples in petri dishes and touch them with a hot wire?”

Mechanic:  “That is the dumbest thing I’ve heard all day.”

Assistant:  “We have to know who can be trusted before we can make any plan!  If not, the hive will know what we are planning.”

Commander:  “Somebody seems to know an awful lot of this hive mind’s capabilities.”

Mechanic:  “It’s no use.  There’s no way for us to know who can and cannot be trusted.  We must simply sacrifice ourselves by calling in the space strike.  Commander, call it in.”

Commander reaches for phone, then stops, eyes turning green:  “I’m afraid that’s impossible.”

Mechanic:  “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

Commander draws sidearm, but Mechanic kicks rolling office chair into him and shot goes wide.  As Commander stumbles, Assistant grabs monitor and hits him in the head.

Mechanic, retrieving pistol:  “Feel this.”


Scientist and soldiers flinch as gunshot echoes down the hall.

Scientist, hoarsely:  “Avenge!”

Soldiers march toward office.

Boiler room

Assistant:  “We’re screwed!  Even if we escape, we cannot call in the space strike without the Commander!”

Mechanic:  “Who said anything about escaping?  We’re not running away.”

Assistant:  “We’re not?”

Mechanic, smiling fiendishly:  “Nope.  Just baiting a trap."

Scientist’s voice from other end of boiler room:  “What do you think you’re doing, Mechanic?  There’s no way out of here.  We have you outnumbered, and my queen hunts very, very well.”

Mechanic, opening door to motor pool:  “Listen close:  start the Sno-cat closest to us, then get in the one on the end and get it running.  Got it?”

Assistant:  “But what about you?”

Mechanic:  “Don’t mind that, just do what I said!”

Assistant runs out door.

Scientist, closer:  “You can’t think you’ve saved her.  She won’t survive 8 hours outside.”

Mechanic, typing at computer terminal:  “You know something?  Killing off maintenance workers is a very bad idea.”

Scientist, even closer:  “And why is that?”

Mechanic, bringing wrench down on terminal:  “Because, then no one knows how to fix your pipes.”

Scientist’s eyes go wide and soldiers run for motor pool door.

Motor pool

Door opens and Mechanic jumps into rig.  Cut to interior as he throws it into gear and rams it into door as Scientist attempts to open it. Scientist's hand is severed by force.

Mechanic, jumping out and knocking on door:  “Stay warm.”

Mechanic runs for running rig and jumps in beside assistant.  He throws it into gear and begins driving for service tunnel exit.

Assistant:  “Must go faster.  Must go faster.”

Mechanic dramatically shifts and they plow through gate.  Cut to exterior view as fireball balloons out behind them.

Inside of Sno-Cat

Assistant:  “So now what?”

Mechanic:  “No problem.  We just destroyed a billion dollar facility.  I’m sure they’ll send someone to see what happened.  Might take a week in this weather, but they’ll get someone out here soon.  The west end supply depot should have survived the blast.  It’ll be a little cramped, though.”

Assistant, sliding closer:  “I’m sure we’ll manage.”

Cut to exterior shot as Sno-Cat drives off. Camera zooms toward burning wreckage where severed hand leaks green blood into snow.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


The basement of the fine arts building on a Southeast campus

Chanting can be heard as the camera moves down the hallway toward a pair of double doors with faint candlelight flickering through.

Goth 1: “And now, we shall read from the Necronomicon.”

Goth 2 hands old volume to him.

Goth 1: “This is not our Necronomicon.”

Goth 2: “Sorry, I spilled my coffee on ours last night at Denny's. I found this one.”

Goth 1: “Where?”

Goth 2: “The library. Weird thing, it was on a shelf by itself. Looks really old.”

Goth 1: “Well, I guess it will just have to do.”

As the rest of the members chant lowly, Goth 1 begins to read.

Morning. Main quad.

Redneck Ag Student:  “I still think they should allow squirrel hunting on campus.”

Redneck WFS Student:  “Agreed.  The overpopulation is obviously having some detrimental effects on both their size and their behavior.  I mean, I’ve been here three years, and they’re clearly becoming overly accustomed to humans.  Look at that one:  it’s coming right toward us with no sense of fear.”

Sociology Student 1:  “Does it ever occur to you rednecks that maybe animals are our friends?  That interaction between the species can be welcomed?”  Turns to squirrel.  “Here little guy…”

Squirrel’s eyes turn red as it springs forward to rip Sociology Student 1’s throat out.  Redneck Students exchange glance, then run for their pick-ups.

Fine arts basement

Goth 1: "The demon horde we summoned appears to go by the collective name 'Legion' and can either inhabit thousands of animals of a single given species or a single human."

Goth 2: "And it chose squirrels?"

Goth 3: "Well what else were there thousands of nearby?"

Goth 1: "The only way it can be banished is by killing all its hosts at once. Killing an individual animal will only allow the spirit inside to be free to inhabit another of that species."

Goth 2: "So we have to find a person, transfer the horde into him, and then kill him? Seems cold."

Goth 3: "Do you have a better idea?

Goth 1: “And it has to be a virgin.”

Goths all look at each other.

Goth 2: "Well, I'm not volunteering."

Goth 1: "Me, either."

Goth 3: “This is a college campus! Where else are we supposed to find a virgin?”

Goth 2: “Got $50?”

Social sciences building

Sociology professor:  “I never thought I’d be privileged to see the rise of another species to parity with humans.  Think about what we could learn from each other.”

Sociology student 2:  “But they’re killing people.”

Blood splatters on window behind her for effect.

Psychology professor:  “We cannot project our beliefs of what constitutes acceptable behavior onto another culture, though.  We do not know how their minds work.  What do you think, Philosophy?”

Philosophy professor:  “I think Nietzsche was a moron.”

Psychology professor:  “What does that have to do with anything?”

Philosophy professor:  “Nihilism and moral subjectivity are irrational points of view, as any of my 1010 students could explain, so I cannot fathom why the administrators insist that I belong in the same department as you idiots.  A rodetnian apocalypse is upon us, and I have to spend it listening to drivel! I just hope this building doesn't represent the best minds our campus has to offer!"

Engineering building

Engineering student 1, staring out window through binoculars: "Looks like their eyes turn red when they attack."

Engineering student 2, entering data into computer model: "Could be useful. What's their mass?"

Engineering student 1: "What do I look like, a Biology major?"

Engineering student 2: "Fine, I'll just assume they're all 2 kgs and spherical."

Basement of fine arts building

Goth 3: “Do you think he found a virgin?”

Goth 4: “I hope so. I don't really have $50 to spare.”

Goth 1: “Let's just get the circle drawn for when he gets here.”

Goth 2 shoulders open door, dragging along a person with a pillowcase pulled over their head.

Goth 2: “I did it!”

Goth 3: “Sweet!”

Goth 4: “Are you sure she's a virgin?”

Goth 2: “Umm...she?”

Goth 1 rips case from prisoners head, revealing a scared wide-eyed face covered in acne and Mountain Dew: Code Red stains.

Goth 1: “Yes, you dumbass! It's supposed to be a virgin woman!”

Goth 2: “Oh. Well, you didn't specify!”

Goth 4: “So what did you spend my $50 on?”

Goth 2: “Umm, a World of Warcraft account. Most reliable source of guys that have never been laid.”

Chemistry professor’s office

Professor: “So let me get this straight. You read an incantation from a book inked in human blood and bound in human skin, thereby summoning a demon that now wants to eat your souls, and you expect me to bail you out of it?”

Goth 2: “Yes?”

Professor: "After you tried to cold-bloodedly sacrifice an innocent to save your own butts?"

Goth 3: "Well, to be fair, he is just a drama major."

Professor: "Point taken, but I still fail to see why I should help you."

Goth 1: “Look, you're the only ordained faculty member any of us know of.”

Professor, reaching for well-worn Bible:  “Fine, but this is coming out of your lab grade.”   Begins to leaf through pages.

Goth 2:  “Do you really think he’s going to find an answer?”

Security Chief:  “Shut up.  You started this.”

Professor:  “Look, all the gunfire from the biology building is already making it hard to concentrate.  Zip it!”

5th floor lab of biology building

Redneck WFS Student:  “How are we on ammo?”

Redneck Ag Student:  “Few thousand rounds left.  They just keep coming, though.”

Engineering building

Montage of computer modeling and drafting, with engineering students debating designs.

Chi Alpha building

Student runs by flailing as red-eyed squirrel attacks hims back.

XA student 1: "Here comes another!"

XA student 2: "Over here! Over here!"

Student runs toward XA building. Squirrels eyes go blank and it falls off as student crosses the sidewalk.

Attacked student: "What happened?"

XA student 1: "Hallowed ground. The demons can't come here."

XA student 2: "I just pity any campus ministry that doesn't have their own building."

RUF bachelor pad

RUF guys stand in front yard with cigars and scotch. Ambulance comes weaving by and crashes into telephone pole nearby. EMT falls out with half a dozen bloody-mouthed squirrels on his back. Squirrels look up from their dead prey. Squirrels charge toward RUF guys.

RUF guy 1: "Holy crap!" Drops scotch and draws Beretta.

Behind him, rest of group produces sidearms and shoot squirrels.

RUF guy 2: "What was that all about?"

RUF guy 3: "Uh, guys..." Points

Spirits rising out of the dead squirrels and heading toward trees on campus across street. The campus is a scene of utter chaos.

RUF guy 4: "I think it's the end of the world."


RUF guy 1: "Kick. Ass."

Group runs into house and begins producing firearms from every cabinet and piece of furniture.


Continued montage with students fabricating. Sparks fly as Engineering student 1's crew works onthe floor while Student 2 assembles things at an electronics bench.

Chemistry Professor’s office

Goth 1: "Maybe we could lure all the squirrels to where we originally summoned them in the fine arts building and then burn it down."

Professor: "Well, that wouldn't be a huge loss. Still, I don't think it would turn out well for whoever was bait. We'll just have to think of something else.

RUF bachelor pad

RUF guys are still retrieving weapons despite sizable pile of firearms and blades assembled on living room floor.

Chemistry Professor's office

Professor: "I’ve got it!”

Goth 2:  “An exorcism ritual?”

Professor:  “You could say that.”

Laboratory montage.  Every movie needs a montage.

Goth 2:  “It should be one of us going, not you.”

Professor:  “Yes.  It should.  But while I am fairly confident in my math and model of the Misznay-Schardin effect, the fact is no one’s ever managed to synthesize octonitrocubane in kilogram quantities, and I don’t have the time to plasticize it properly, so if someone’s off to meet his Maker, it’s probably better me than some idiot whose last act on earth was summoning a horde of demons.”

Goth 1:  “He may have a point.”

Chem professor:  “On the bright side, if I get out of this alive, I’ve got a great paper for the next ACS conference!  Besides, my hearing’s already damaged anyway.  Now, I just need to get to my bike.”

Security Chief: “But the building's surrounded!”

Professor: “Well, if somebody hadn't insisted that I'm not allowed to park it on an unused strip of sidewalk, it would be closer, now wouldn't it?  At any rate, I suspect some of my 1110 class are going to get some extra credit.”

Outside of Chemistry building

Goth 3 holds up sign in fifth floor window.  First one, then all windows of Biology building are filled with rifle toting rednecks providing cover fire as Chemistry building's basement doors open, belching fire and smoke. Chemistry professor runs through the flames, scattering squirrels as he leaps onto motorcycle and roars away.

Edge-of-seat 15 minute chase scene as squirrel horde follows Professor around campus. Professor flips switch on handlebars as he crisscrosses main quad several times, spewing white powder behind him, before laying the bike down.  Professor dashes to middle of quad and dives into foxhole dug by Goths.  Thirty seconds of horde closing on foxhole.  Camera pans to professor.  Red-eyed Boss squirrel peeks over edge.

Professor, holding up Necronomicon and lit road flare:  “One more step, and I torch your book.”

Squirrel:  “Fool!  What did you hope to accomplish?  We will tear you to shreds and take it.”

Hole is suddenly ringed with waves of red-eyed squirrels.

Professor:  “Well, then, I guess I should just let you have it.”

Professor tosses book out of hole and draws small remote.  Squirrels’ eyes go wide as one.

Pan out to large, badly-CGI’ed explosion.  Pan to ground level as smoke and debris filter down.  Professor walks slowly out of cloud, not even flinching as several cars land behind him with obligatorily exploding gas tanks.

Suddenly, out of the smoke roar two over-sized armored vehicles festooned with weapons, accompanied by a swarm of drones with miniaturized rocket launchers and high-powered lasers. Doors open.

Engineering Student 1: "Where are they? Where'd the little furry bastards go?"

Chemistry Professor: "Relax. I got them all."

Engineering Student 1: "We're too late?"

Chemistry Professor: "Yep. Though if you'd like come up with a way to clean the corpses up..."

Engineering Student 2: "I told you we didn't need to waste all that time on modelling the cutting efficiency!"

Engineering Student 1: "Hey, you were the one who insisted on optimizing the firing rate of the turrets!"

Engineering Student 2: "Hey, can I help it if I have a little thing called 'professional pride'? Maybe you've heard of it?"

Chemistry Professor walks away as students bicker.

3 weeks later

Orange, small-fingered “Real Estate Developer” with bad hairpiece looks over crater

Developer:  "How are we on funds?"

Assistant 1: "Well, since you lost nearly a billion dollars last year, the board is only allowing you $1.5 million a year moving forward."

Developer: "Damn. This could be like the Club Med of the plateau. It’ll be yuuuge.    

Gust of wind blows hairpiece into pile of squirrel corpses.  Assistant 2 starts fumbling through pile, unable to tell the difference.

Developer:  “$1.5 million should be enough to grease a few palms and get the place condemned, right? Just like the last 2 times?”

Assistant 1:  “It could work.  Tennessee hasn’t reformed eminent domain at all.”

Developer:  “I love those two words.”

Assistant 2 places blob of hair on Developer’s head.

Developer:  “You know what, though?  If I ran for president, I could take everyone’s stuff!  I’d never go bankrupt again!”

Squirrel raises red eyes and smiles.